Karen E. Samman is a partner, working primarily in the firm's Oakland office. She also serves clients from the Sacramento and Fresno offices. A highly respected education legal leader, Ms. Samman provides advice to school districts, county offices of education and special education local plan areas statewide in multiple areas of education law. Ms. Samman has also served in the capacity of in-house general counsel for a school district, providing legal advice and counsel to the governing board, the superintendent and school administrators on matters ranging from special education, student, personnel, governance, the Brown Act, Public Records Act, charter schools, and litigation matters. In the area of special education law, Ms. Samman has broad experience and has counseled districts in a variety of forums, including due process hearings and mediations before the California Special Education Hearing Office and the Office of Administrative Hearings, and compliance complaints before the California Department of Education.
Prior to focusing her practice in education law, Ms. Samman worked as a research attorney for the Oakland County Circuit Court, and thereafter as an Assistant Attorney General for the Michigan Attorney General's Office, Children and Youth Services Division, where her legal practice focused on child protection laws. Additionally, as an Assistant District Counsel for United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Ms. Samman litigated many cases at the administrative level and before the Board of Immigration Appeals. All of these experiences have given Ms. Samman legal research, analytical, and litigation skills she has translated into her education law practice.
Ms. Samman began her career as a teacher in a school with a high ratio of English language learners and economically disadvantaged students. She also served as a founding board member of a charter school in Michigan. This familiarity with the school environment, coupled with her proficiency in spoken Arabic, affords Ms. Samman a unique understanding of issues districts face in educating students who face language and economic challenges.
Ms. Samman received her Juris Doctor from the Michigan State Law School in 1998, and she is licensed to practice in both Michigan and California. She holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from The Ohio State University.
70 Washington Street, Suite 205
Oakland, California 94607
520 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, California 95814
7108 North Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93720